“Empire” creator Lee Daniels says Hollywood doesn’t owe anybody anything


Writer-director Lee Daniels on the set of the TV series “Star,” with correspondent Mo Rocca.

CBS News

Critically-acclaimed filmmaker Lee Daniels has been outspoken over complaints that Hollywood is unfair when it comes to race, specifically when people suggest that films featuring African-Americans have been overlooked in recent years by the Academy Awards simply because of color.

The force behind the films “Monster’s Ball,” “Precious,” “The Butler” and the TV series “Empire” says, rather, Hollywood doesn’t owe anybody anything.

“These entitled people that say, ‘Oh, Hollywood owes us something.’ No, you owe YOU something,” Daniels tells Mo Rocca in an interview to be broadcast on CBS’ “Sunday Morning” January 8. 

“And then you going to say, ‘Oh, Hollywood owes me awards.’ Huh? The fact that you want to do a movie for an award and that somebody owes you an award, get out of here! Don’t even make sense. And you call yourself an artist? Really? We don’t do it for the awards.”

Daniels doesn’t deny there are problems with the system -- big ones -- but he’s not letting those problems stop him, nor (he says) should they stop anyone else.

Writer-director Lee Daniels, with correspondent Mo Rocca. CBS News

“Do I think there are injustices in Hollywood every day as there are in America? Yes, there are,” Daniels tells Rocca. “Not just injustices, but there are atrocities, I believe, that have happened. But is that going to define me? No. And am I still going to get what’s mine? You better believe it, I am. And I will continue.”

In addition to his take on Hollywood, Daniels talks with Rocca about his sometimes-challenging path to success; his new TV series “Star”; and growing up with a father who struggled to accept that his son was gay.

To watch a trailer for “Star” (Fox), click on the video player below. 

Preview: Finding Your Way | Season 1 Ep. 3 | STAR by Star on YouTube

The Emmy Award-winning “CBS Sunday Morning,” hosted by Jane Pauley, is broadcast Sundays beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET. Executive producer is Rand Morrison.

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